In Memory of




Obituary for Matthew John Robillard

Matthew John
It is with great sadness that the family of Matthew John Robillard announces his passing, suddenly but peacefully, on December 1, 2023, at his home in Pakenham, Ontario, at the age of 89.
Lovingly remembered by his long-time partner and best friend, Dr. Rose Tekel; his much-loved children Matt Jr. (Hozumi), Kate Jones (Jack), and Andy (Jeannette); his endless source of pride and joy, granddaughter Sophie Jones, and adored step granddaughter Connor Goguen; his brother, Henry, and brother-in-law Jack LeBelle. Predeceased by his beloved wife Jean (nee Benvie, 1996), parents Lois and Anthony Bruno Robillard, and siblings Rock Robillard, Joan Burr, Laurie LeBelle, and Betty Nash.
Matt grew up on Montreal Road, working at his grandfather’s quarry in East Ottawa. A gifted athlete, he excelled at football. He was a star on his team at St. Patrick’s College and played a season in the CFL with the Ottawa Rough Riders in 1954. He continued his love of sports by coaching football throughout his high school teaching career, and hockey at Ryerson.
A passionate academic, Matt obtained his BA from Carleton University, Master of Physical Education from McMaster University, teaching degree from Ottawa University, Master of Education from Ottawa University, and Doctor of Education from OISE (University of Toronto). He began his career at Ryerson Polytechnic Institute in Toronto (now Toronto Metropolitan University), then moved to Deep River where he was head of the Physical Education department at MacKenzie High School, coaching the football team to five county championships. During this time, he combined his love of nature and teaching to help found a highly successful outdoor program for youth, Trekkers. He officially retired from his career in 1995, after more than 20 years teaching psychology and sociology at Canadore College in North Bay. After retirement, Matt continued teaching at Nipissing University in North Bay, and later at Cape Breton University in Nova Scotia.
Matt was much loved by his family and friends, respected by his academic colleagues, and revered by the thousands of students he taught and coached over his long career. Always generous with his time, attention, and affection, he brought out the best in all who knew him.
The Earl of Scallywag Manor, mangler of jokes, and storyteller extraordinaire (his brief stint as a bouncer at the infamous Chaudiere Club in Hull provided some of our favourites), Matt lived well, laughed often, and loved fiercely. He will be missed greatly and remembered always.
As per Matt’s wishes, there will be no service, and cremation has taken place. Expressions of sympathy can be made through donations in Matt’s memory to Outward Bound Canada (, or a charity of your choice.
Funeral Arrangements Entrusted Into The Care Of
C.R. Gamble Funeral Home & Chapel Inc.
(127 Church St. Almonte, ON. 613-256-3313)
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